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Port Chester Middle School Holds Blood Drive

Michael Carpinello never thought about donating blood until his daughter Nicholette, 12, told him about Port Chester Middle School's blood drive."She asked me and I said yes," said Carpinello, 49, a carpenter. "She does great in school and she's my baby girl."

Nicholette is a sixth grader at the school, which held its second annual blood drive on Thursday.

The drive was organized this year by seventh and eighth grade special education teacher Brooke Magnotta in honor of her grandmother who has a blood disorder and often requires transfusions.

Magnotta contacted the New York Blood Center, which provided all the equipment and personnel necessary to run the drive.Donors must be at least 16 years of age, so none of the students could give blood, but plenty were spending their half-day volunteering for the drive.Sixth grader Alicia Wilczewski, 12, helped direct people to the blood drawing stations, passed out buttons that read "Blood Donors Save Lives" and thanked donors on their way out."Volunteering makes me feel good inside," Alcia said. "We don't always do good things, and this is something good."

Carpinello's daughter also volunteered but was starting at a later shift, so she didn't get to see her father donate blood for the first time.Carpinello, who is listed as an organ donor on his license and volunteers for his son's baseball league, said he's learned to be more giving from being a parent."Having kids, you learn from them," he said. "They help you grow up and be a better person."

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